Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

I Found an Old Newspaper Article About the Baltimore Accent

March 28, 2014


I went to the latest Used Book Sale presented by the Smith College Club of Baltimore at the Timonium fairgrounds and picked up a copy of The Amiable Baltimoreans by Francis F. Beirne. This is one of many books I purchased there. When I got home and started looking through the book, I found an old musty newspaper clipping inside it. It doesn’t have the newspaper or date information, but it’s yellowed, brownish and old. I’m guessing by reading it that it dates to the 1950’s. It’s titled Is Balamerese Leginamint or Has it Gun to Roon? It’s about the the Baltimore accent and I thought I’d share it with yooze as it is written… (more…)


The Story of a Fell’s Point Favorite

January 28, 2014

Bertha's Mussels

Fells Point’s Bertha’s Restaurant and Bar is world famous. Their infamous “Eat Bertha’s Mussels” green bumper stickers are spotted around the globe. Their mussels are fresh, delicious, and steamed up and served just right with a variety of dips. We know about their great seafood, but how did this Fells Point favorite gets its name?

 It all began when Tony Norris, an instructor of classical guitar at George Washington University, Washington D.C., and his wife Laura Norris, a violinist and music instructor, also at George Washington, teamed up with a friend to buy a decrepit bar in the backwater area of Baltimore (Fell’s Point).  The bar at the time was called “The Lone Star”. 

 The neglected waterfront area seemed to attract a very creative crowd. The Lone Star bar that Tony and Laura purchased around 1972 picked up an almost instant clientele due to its funky location. Tony found a stained glass memorial window in a Baltimore junk shop, this window was dedicated to the memory of Bertha E. Bartholomew, whose identity remains unknown to this day.  The stained glass window displayed with lighting behind it was hung over the bar and thus the bar became known as Berthas.

 Whenever we’re in Fells Point we always stop in at Bertha’s.

Baltimore’s Favorite Cookie

February 9, 2013

Bergers Cookies

Mmmmm…Bergers Cookies~ the most recognized and craved cookie in Maryland. It seems that anyone who has lived in Maryland at one time or another never forgets these delightfully decadent fudge frosting-heavy goodies! The Berger Cookie Recipe was brought to America from Germany by George and Henry Berger in 1835 and has been with us ever since. Though the bakery has changed hands several times throughout its long history, the recipe remains the same~ and Marylanders are grateful! Here’s the scoop of how this famous cookie got started … (more…)

The Late Great Tolchester Beach Amusement Park

March 20, 2012

It was the day of the steamship on the Chesapeake Bay. Twenty-seven miles across the Bay from Baltimore, lay Tolchester Beach in Kent County, MD. In 1877 at Tolchester, an amusement park opened on ten acres of land. Though a somewhat primitive park—it included picnic grounds with tables, a few concessions, a bath house, a hand propelled merry-go-round, and a hand organ pulled by a goat. This was the beginning of the most popular beach resort along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, destined to provide entertainment and fond lifelong memories to millions of patrons during the next eighty-five years…


Our Victorian Feather Christmas Tree

December 22, 2011

Fran had a new Christmas project this year. She really wanted a table top Victorian feather Christmas tree, in addition to our large Christmas tree. After a lot of research, and locating Victorian Christmas ornaments—we now have a beautiful feather tree, which is also a piece of Christmas history. Feather Christmas trees were first created in Germany in the 1880’s or 1890’s… (more…)

Portraiture of the Past

November 15, 2011

Step back in time before the age of photography. How did people obtain portraits of their loved ones in the past? One way was to have the portraits painted—but most people couldn’t afford it. The alternative was silhouettes. Combining her love of art and history, Baltimore artist Lauren Muney creatively transports the past to the present day. I recently met Lauren at the Maryland Irish Festival and was fascinated to learn about the art of traditional silhouette portraits… (more…)

Abraham Lincoln Pardons Thanksgiving Turkey

November 2, 2011

This year President Barack Obama is expected to pardon the Thanksgiving turkey before Thanksgiving. This Presidential tradition began in 1863 when a live turkey was delivered to the White House for the Lincoln family to feast on during the holidays. Abraham Lincoln’s 10 year old son, Tad, quickly befriended the bird and named him Jack. Tad fed Jack, and taught the bird to follow him around the White House grounds… (more…)

The Legend of Black Aggie

October 6, 2011

The legend of Black Aggie is a bizarre tale with many strange twists and turns. To some who grew up in the Baltimore area hearing the stories, Black Aggie conjured up an otherworldly vision of terror shrouded in dark mystery… (more…)

A Forgotten Historical Baltimore Building

September 4, 2011

Baltimore sure has its share of forgotten historical buildings, and this is one of them. Standing on the former property of Johns Hopkins in Clifton Park is a reminder of a bygone era. An often overlooked building and in disrepair, The Clifton Park Pony Barn was constructed in two phases. Looking like an old ranch building transported from New Mexico in the old west, it was built by the Parks Commission in 1898 as a stable and wagon barn… (more…)

‘Tis The Season for Sno-balls

June 16, 2011

Just like crabs and cold Natty Boh—nothing says summer in Baltimore like a good old-fashioned sno-ball. As temperatures climb—young and old alike line up at neighborhood sno-ball stands to indulge in this cold, flavorful delight. When were sno-balls introduced to Baltimore? Check out the story of snow-balls… (more…)